WTA's Simon casts doubt over statement attributed to Peng

WTA’s Simon casts doubt over statement attributed to Peng

The head of the Women’s Tennis Association on Wednesday voiced doubt over an e mail it received, which become additionally launched with the aid of a Chinese nation media outlet, in which tennis player Peng Shuai was said to disclaim her previous allegations of sexual assault.
Peng, one in every of China’s largest recreation stars, stated on social media this month that former Chinese vice most effective Zhang Gaoli coerced her into sex and that they later had an on-off consensual courting.

Her put up became deleted about half an hour later and she or he had no longer been seen publicly or made a statement in view that then, alarming the global tennis community.

On Twitter on Wednesday, Chinese country-affiliated media outlet CGTN launched what it stated turned into an electronic mail Peng had despatched to WTA Chairman Steve Simon, who’s additionally its CEO, wherein she stated the allegation of assault was unfaithful. Twitter is blocked in China.

The declaration launched today by means of Chinese state media concerning Peng Shuai best increases my worries as to her protection and whereabouts, Simon stated in a written assertion. I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai certainly wrote the email we received or believes what’s being attributed to her.

China’s State Council Information Office and the Chinese Tennis Association did not immediately respond to a request for remark.
The e mail which CGTN attributes to Peng says: I’m not missing, nor am I dangerous. I’ve just been resting at domestic and the whole lot is fine.

Besides CGTN, the English-language arm of country broadcaster CCTV, no different Chinese media outlet as of Thursday morning in Asia had mentioned the letter.

A representative for Peng did not at once reply to request for remark.

The authorities has yet to touch upon Peng’s preliminary allegation, and discussion of the subject has been blocked on China’s heavily censored net.

The WTA and the ATP formerly referred to as for China to investigate Peng’s allegations, and players inclusive of Naomi Osaka and Jessica Pegula have expressed their aid for her on social media with the hashtag WhereIsPengShuai.
The WTA and the relaxation of the arena want independent and verifiable proof that she is secure, Simon wrote. I have again and again tried to reach her via severa kinds of communications, to no avail.

The scenario comes at a clumsy time for China, that’s making ready to host the Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, amid calls from worldwide rights companies and others for a boycott over its human rights record.

Simon informed the New York Times on Sunday that no person on the Tour has talked without delay to Peng however that he had obtained assurances from the Chinese Tennis Association that she became safe and not underneath any physical risk.

Peng, 35, changed into the first Chinese player to top the sector rankings when she was doubles number one in 2014. She received doubles titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014.

Zhang, now 75, changed into a vice premier among 2013 and 2018 and served on the Politburo Standing Committee between 2012 and 2017.